News 4-3-07 Learn From Downtown LA Project

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Posted by: Diane R - 4/3/2007 1:55:40 PM
I question the framework of putting ultra-low income housing interdispersed among $500,000+ condo residences. These low-income residents won't be able to afford the entertainment offered downtown at the various arts centers and new retail malls. In other cities, when you cram 500 or more low income residents together into a 2 to 3 block radius, they are called 'projects', high crime areas, and Los Angeles thinks this is a good idea for the center of their town?

Posted by: Ken - 4/3/2007 3:05:49 PM
Diane, the difference is that in other cities, in the past, the technique was to kick poor people out of their homes in stable neighborhoods and move them into projects where only poor people lived, and where there were no services. These became the ghetto. When you mix a variety of income levels and lifestyles in an urban setting there is a net benefit. Service industry jobs are required to keep a downtown running and being able to locate the workers near their jobs eases transportation concerns. Wealthy and middle class people build the institutions of community involvement and upkeep and drive the creation of cultural and economic activities for everyone involved. This is not "the projects" by any stretch of the imagination and LA is not alone in requiring a percentage of units in downtown projects be affordable -- Seattle and other cities are also doing the same.